An Interview with Maria Angelova (learn more about Maria at the end of the entire article)
Part 4 of ???
Can you share some anecdotes from your personal experience? Can you share a story about a time when you stepped out of your comfort zone and how it helped you grow? How does it feel to take those first difficult steps?
I feel like every time that I give a keynote presentation or workshop, I am stepping out of my comfort zone. Each one presents a different challenge, whether it is the preparation, presentation, or post-event evaluation. I pride myself on customizing each presentation for my client. I don’t have a cookie-cutter, off-the-shelf program. My presentations have common themes, but again I stretch out of my comfort zone to challenge myself and do the best for my clients. There was one particular time where I did but I was informed by the HR director that the session (3rd of 4) didn’t meet their expectations. I leaned heavily on my core values, met with her training team, and put together the best for the remaining sessions. She actually apologized at the end for the hiccup in the middle. It certainly took me out of my comfort zone, and I have grown tremendously because of it. It isn’t easy when somebody challenges you in your life’s work, but you have to keep failing and falling forward.
Here is the central question of our discussion. What are your “five ways to push past your comfort zone, to grow both personally and professionally”?
Consistency — Turn your priorities into habits. Habits get you through your comfort zone. Doing the right and best things daily. Habits come from consistency. Habits don’t have to be huge, just consistent. I consistently start my day with the Bible, then go to reading leadership material, then post on social media, and during my power hour I send lead-generating e-mails, five for speaking and five for podcasts.
Inner Circle — We all need an inner circle of people who provide positive leadership and growth for us. Their reinforcement gives you the motivation and momentum to stretch out of your comfort zone. I never would have hosted Live2Lead without Tom pushing, pulling, and prodding me to the best decision. It shouldn’t have been that difficult with the impact it had on me, but that financial commitment made me think deeper. I’m exceptionally excited that I turned a several thousand-dollar profit in the first year. The money never crossed my mind until it was over because of the impact I made. I’m looking forward to an awesome Live2Lead 2023 as I am already signed up to host it in my community.
Value — I have learned through all of my training, reading, listening, mentoring and coaching that there is incredible value in adding value to others. My goal is to add more value to others than I receive through my faith. I recently had a presentation lined up where the communication wasn’t the best from the host, and I was going to be paid little. I got into my comfort zone and thought I would “dial it in.” Fortunately my core values and sense of offering value came through and I gave one of my best presentations. Every audience is the next best audience, and they deserve more value than I receive.
Podcast — I never thought I would be a guest on a podcast, much less co-host one. That’s exactly what happened. I’ve learned from my inner circle and others that we all have a message to share. Somebody out there needs to hear that message. Being part of a podcast is another way to add value and share my message. We’ve done numerous episodes and Aaron and I have grown so much through this effort.
Confidence — I had a friend challenge me on a Zoom call about my belief system. He had asked me what I accomplished in my life. In that modest, blue collar, Wisconsin sort of way I humbly mumbled some of my accomplishments. He halted me part way through. That’s when he challenged me. He pulled me out of my comfort zone and helped me on a confidence growing path that is still growing. Belief systems are so critical, especially to getting out of our comfort zone.…to be continued…